We revealed a secret to surprised guests on our wedding day

wedding gender reveal

by take-a-break |
Updated on

My fiancée and I were about to tie the knot but we had a teeny weeny surprise for our guests. By Katrina Caldwell, 39

Gender reveal at wedding

As I signed the paperwork, I felt all warm and fuzzy.

If I can’t be a mum myself yet, at least I can help someone else, I thought.

Ever since I was little, I’d known I wanted to have kids. I loved them so much I’d ended up working in a nursery.

But when my long-term relationship broke down, my dream of being a mum felt further away than ever.

Determined to stay positive, I’d made the decision to donate some of my eggs, so other people who were struggling to have kids could have IVF.

When I’d completed the final form the nurse said: ‘You can ring whenever you like to hear if your eggs have been used.’

After having the procedure to extract my eggs, life went on as normal.

Refusing to give up on love, I checked out a few dating sites and was instantly drawn to a woman called Siobhan.

I messaged her, and soon we were chatting back and forth.

As we both lived in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, we decided to meet up.

We can go and play some pool, I typed. That’ll break the ice!

gender reveal at wedding

It turned out, there wasn’t any ice to break because we hit it off immediately.

Siobhan was confident, had the most striking eyes, and we spent pretty much every day of the rest of that week together.

As we became an item, there was something important I needed to ask Siobhan.

‘Do you want kids?’ I blurted one day. ‘It’s a real dealbreaker for me.’

‘Definitely!’ she replied.

I felt as if I’d finally met someone special. We even started talking about marriage — in a jokey way at first.

Just a month in, Siobhan had a holiday planned with her mum.

‘My hand would look lovely with a tan line on my ring finger!’ she said and we both laughed.

But a little bulb went off in my head.

'I'm keeping it to myself'

I booked us a weekend away at a log cabin in Glencoe, deep in the Scottish Highlands.

When we arrived, I got the log-burner going, and poured us some champagne.

‘Just to make this a bit more perfect,’ I said, whipping out the ring I’d secretly picked out.

Then I got down on one knee and said: ‘Siobhan, will you marry me?’

‘Yes, of course!’ she said, pulling me in for a kiss.

Soon after, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and put our wedding plans on hold.

Still, it didn’t squash our dream of becoming parents.

Siobhan and I started discussing IVF and decided that because I’d already been through the process of donating my eggs, I would carry our baby.

‘I know a little bit about what to expect,’ I reasoned.

Next, we needed a sperm donor.

gender reveal

The fertility clinic allowed us to choose from a range of men registered in the European sperm bank, and back home Siobhan and I scrolled through their profiles online.

Each donor had pages and pages of info to help us select the perfect match.

‘We’ll find someone who looks like you,’ I said to Siobhan, as we scoured through photos.

As Siobhan would have no genetic input, I wanted to make sure she felt every bit as involved as me.

After hours of deliberation, we opted for a Romanian man.

‘His personality test results show he’s kind and caring,’ Siobhan said.

He was also a big fan of gardening, like me, and of dancing, like Siobhan.

‘He sounds perfect!’ I said.

gender reveal at wedding

We got the ball rolling and eventually one of my eggs was fertilised and the embryo implanted back into my womb. The rest of my eggs were frozen.

Doctors advised us to wait two weeks before taking a pregnancy test. But just eight days later, neither of us could resist.

So, I took a test and we sat and watched as the word ‘pregnant’ appeared on the tiny screen. Then we started shrieking with excitement.

We went out and spent another £30 on pregnancy tests – just to be sure!

Soon we were in a whirlwind of scans and and appointments — and with lockdown lifting — our wedding plans were back on too.

We decided to tie the knot at Gretna Green.

Even though we weren’t eloping, and were inviting our nearest and dearest, we loved the romantic history of the place.

With the big day booked, Siobhan had an idea.

‘Why don’t we do the gender reveal at the wedding?’ she suggested.

‘That would be brilliant!’ I agreed.

We told our guests what we were doing and they loved the idea too.

I’d be 15 weeks pregnant by the time we got married and most clinics only did gender scans at 16 weeks.

We managed to find one to perform it early, but the only time the sonographer was availalbe was on the morning of our wedding.

When our big day arrived, my sister-in-law Jamielee came with me to the appointment.

Gender reveal at wedding

The sonographer typed the gender of the baby on the screen and showed it to her so I couldn’t see.

I wonder if I can hear if it’s a boy or a girl from the typing? I thought.

But frustratingly, I had no idea.

Then we bundled ourselves into the car and sped off for the wedding.

Desperate to find out what we were having, both our families were messaging Jamielee. But she wasn’t giving anything away.

‘I’m keeping it to myself,’ she told me.

When we arrived at the hotel, I had just 10 minutes to zoom in and get ready. But I scrambled into my white, lace-back, wedding gown in the nick of time.

Next thing I knew, my stepdad was walking me down the aisle. But as our guests watched on, my morning sickness hit.

Please don’t throw up during the ceremony, I begged silently.

But as soon as we’d said our vows, all the nausea melted away.

‘I can’t believe we’re married!’ Siobhan said, grinning.

We all moved outside into the lush grounds, and Jamielee gave us our confetti cannons as our guests gathered round.

‘Ready?’ I asked my new wife.

‘Three…two…one…!’ our families counted down.

We triggered the cannons — and pink dust exploded into the air.

Everyone cheered.

‘Yet another girl!’ said Siobhan’s mum, with a chuckle. She had three daughters and five granddaughters.

After the wedding, the rest of my pregnancy went smoothly. And, at 39 weeks, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who we named Emily.

‘Hello, little one,’ Siobhan said, curling her finger round a tiny hand.

It was hard work being new parents, but just as wonderful as I’d imagined.

We decided I’d be ‘Mum’ and Siobhan would be ‘Mamica’ — the Romanian word for mother.

It was important to us that Emily always had a link to the Romanian side of her heritage.

Then when Emily was four months old, I decided to make an important call.

‘I want to find out if any of the eggs I donated have been used,’ I told Siobhan.

So, I rang the the clinic.

They told me a couple had a baby boy from my eggs, and that he was almost two years old now.

It felt amazing to have given another family, the same happiness Emily brought us.

Our daughter is 13 months old now, and we’re planning to have another baby next year, with the same donor.

Recently, Gretna Green held an exhibition about the history of the parish.

Siobhan and I were included, as the first couple to ever have a gender reveal at a wedding there.

Our wonderful little girl is now a part of history!

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